New Hospital-at-Home Waiver Program Is ‘Another Step Forward’ for Home-Based Care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week took extraordinary steps toward increasing the U.S. health care system’s capacity by shifting more acute care into the home. In a Wednesday announcement, CMS unveiled new, comprehensive flexibilities that allow hospitals to provide their services “in locations beyond their existing walls.” To secure those flexibilities, […]

Home Health Agency, Former Executives to Pay $5.8M to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

Doctor’s Choice Home Care Inc. and two former executives have agreed to pay $5.15 million to resolve allegations that the home health agency provided “improper financial inducements” to referring physicians through “sham medical director agreements,” the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced earlier this month. DOJ had also alleged that the agency offered bonuses to […]

States Starting to Prioritize Home Health, Hospice Workers in Vaccination Plans

Pfizer, Moderna and the University of Oxford are among the organizations to tout highly effective COVID-19 vaccines this month. With “the cavalry coming,” the focus is now shifting to how, when and where vaccines should be distributed. In September, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) urged state leaders […]

COVID-19 Patients Discharged from Home Health Care Often Have ‘Excellent’ Symptom Improvement, Functional Outcomes

So far, there’s been a lack of information on the characteristics and outcomes of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who are discharged to the home setting. Researchers Kathryn Bowles and Margaret McDonald — both with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) — are working to change that. For the past few months, Bowles and […]

CMS to Retire Home Health Compare Next Month

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is moving forward with its plan to retire the old Home Health Compare in favor of a new, multi-setting tool known simply as “Care Compare.” By Dec. 1, CMS will move away from Home Health Compare, Nursing Home Compare, Hospital Compare and the five similar online […]

LHC Group CEO Keith Myers: Change in Washington Won’t Derail ‘Incredible’ Home Health Opportunity

Keith Myers has seen his fair share of change in Washington, D.C. Since co-founding the business with his wife, Ginger, in 1994, Myers has helped lead LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) through parts of five presidencies as chairman and CEO. A new administration with Joe Biden in the White House would make that six. Although […]

‘They’re Calling Us Up, Asking for Help’: How Health System Struggles Factored into the AccentCare-Seasons Merger

The coronavirus didn’t directly lead to the recently announced merger between AccentCare Inc. and Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care, but it played a pretty prominent role. On Monday, Dallas-based AccentCare and Rosemont, Illinois-based Seasons revealed they’ll soon join forces to create a new post-acute care powerhouse. While the decision to merge made sense due to […]

FDA Signs Off on First At-Home Coronavirus Test

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday issued an emergency use authorization for the first COVID-19 diagnostic at-home test. The move will not have an immediate impact on in-home care providers, but it could give them one more tool in their pandemic toolbox in weeks to come. The FDA specifically signed off on the […]

CMS: Home Health Improper Payments Down by $5.9B Since 2016

Home health providers continue to make serious progress in reducing improper payments under fee-for-service Medicare, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Monday. Since 2016, improper payments to home health providers have dropped by an estimated $5.9 billion, according to CMS. All improper payments in fee-for-service Medicare are down by an estimated […]

[Updated] AccentCare, Seasons Hospice to Merge

AccentCare Inc. and Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care are merging. Dallas-based AccentCare — owned by global private equity firm Advent International — is among the five largest home health providers in the country, according to industry data. The Rosemont, Illinois-based Seasons holds the same distinction in the U.S. hospice market. “AccentCare is doing very, very […]